Here is the code:

//echo $file;

if (file_exists($file)) {
    header('Content-Description: File Transfer');
    header('Content-Type: application/octet-stream');
    header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename='.basename($file));
    header('Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary');
    header('Expires: 0');
    header('Cache-Control: must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0');
    header('Pragma: public');
    header('Content-Length: ' . filesize($file));

Is there any possibility of RCE? I am a web developer and developing a website for my client.

  • 1
    Your code is vulnerable to LFI attacks if openbase_dir is not set in php.ini. I am not sure why you think an LFI is related to RCE. You only read local files, this by itself will not lead (directly) to RCE.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:19
  • When speaking of RCE, do you mean Remote Command Execution or Remote Code Execution. My previous answer was about command execution.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:23
  • I referred to RCE as Remote Command Execution
    – Dangu OP
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 6:34
  • I would recommend scanning this endpoint with a web app scanner like OWASP ZAP.
    – Saustin
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 1:45

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is possible e.g. using php wrappers.

A simple RCE could be done like this :


Note: This will work only if php configuration allow wrappers.

More details here : https://highon.coffee/blog/lfi-cheat-sheet/

Edit: You might need to URL encode the payload :


You should check for directory traversal and for file type for the requested file.

Directory traversal:

Use realpath() function

echo realpath('./../../etc/passwd') . PHP_EOL;

echo realpath('/tmp/') . PHP_EOL;

File type

$allowed =  array('gif','png' ,'jpg');
$filename = $_FILES['video_file']['name'];
$ext = pathinfo($filename, PATHINFO_EXTENSION);
if(!in_array($ext,$allowed) ) {
    echo 'Invalid file type requested only images are allowed!';

RCE is not in any way possible with only this method.

  • 1
    One should also check for chatacters in filename. Newline can be a perfectly valid character in filename, but it would cause header injection.
    – v6ak
    Commented Oct 6, 2019 at 19:51
  • Note that checking the actual extension on a file is usually worthless, and of questionable value here. The important part is to make sure that only intended files are downloaded. Limiting an attacker to downloading image files is useless if, for instance, the application also happens to store pictures of people's tax returns in jpg format. The main goal here is to ensure that a person is downloading only those files that they are authorized to download. Limiting file types (which an extension check doesn't even do) may not help at all in many cases. Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 14:07

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